The future of sports is not as inevitable as everyone would want it to be, but one person thinks otherwise. Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock,” argues it is the right opportunity to invest in sports. His manager, the ex-wife Dany Garcia and The Rock bought the XFL, an alternative football league in the US. Vince McMahon, the WWE founder, has been trying to set off this league for around 20 years but has been failing.
Rock secured the league for about $15 million together with the RedBird Capital Partners after they filed for bankruptcy due to the onset of coronavirus.
After around 20 years, the XFL seems to be attracting lots of excitement in the world of sports. Even casinos have tapped into this market. If you don’t find the game at your casino, you can check other games at the 21 casino.
What does XFL mean?
Founded in 2001 as a dirty and down extreme sport, the XFL is a competitor to the NFL. This league emphasizes rougher play and fan access to entertainment value and players. The XFL league started as a joint venture between NBC and WWE, with the season expected to happen in spring and winter. It was to fill the void that occurs when the college and pro seasons end.
Does it mean it is like WWE?
No, this is football. WrestleMania theatrics and off-field elements differentiate the XFL from the NFL. However, the initial games dismissed rumors that the plays and winners were predetermined.
Why did it fail in the first trial?
After just one season, the XFL crumbled due to disastrous rating, criticism that its games relied on sex appeal, stunts, and violence rather than sports, and concerns about the safety of the players. Like for example, the halftime stunt in 2001 by McMahon to rescue the games’ rating sent the cameraman to the locker room of the cheerleader. NBC and WWE lost more than $35 million, and Vince McMahon said the league was a ‘colossal failure.’
Why then did they bring it back?
Seventeen years passed, and in January 2018, McMahon decided to bring back what was the biggest joke in the world of football. He announced that the league would not have sleaze, alcoholic drinks, and sex this time around.
He would also drop those cheerleaders and other gimmicks. McMahon did his timing as this was the period where the NFL ratings plunged by 17% due to concussions and race. The WWE founder liquidated around 4% of his stock in WWE, amounting to about $270 million to bring back XFL.
Did it succeed this second time?
For the second round, things seemed to go smooth. After a few years of development, the league started with great sponsorships and talent from Anheuser-Busch and Gatorade. The XFL league came back with two selling points, i.e., sideline interviews with players during the game and letting fans listen to the teams as they deliberate. For the first five weeks of the league, the ratings were respectable, but then coronavirus happened. Like all the other leagues like MLB, NHL, and NBA, XFL had to cancel its season. However, the break was too long for the business to come back, and just one month after canceling the season, the venture laid off all the employees. Its liabilities and assets were listed, with each going for around $10 to $50 million.
How did The Rock get into this?
Before joining the richest men in the Hollywood club, The Rock was a football player in college and among the top wrestling stars. In 1991, The Rock scooped the NCAA championship while at the University of Miami. The Rock said he got into the XFL deal due to passion for the game and desire to care for the fans.
Dany Garcia, the Rock’s manager and now a co-owner of the league is a brilliant movie producer, having produced some blockbuster movies like Rampage, Baywatch, and Skyscraper. She is a big admirer of XFL, and she told ESPN that she called Dwayne when she learned about the venture’s bankruptcy. Both believe that they have the entertainment and sports expertise to give this league another chance.
What will the new XFL league look like?
The new owners of the XFL league plan to carry out the initial plan laid out in February. Garcia said it would keep the initial format and possibly the executive team. Talking to ESPN, she said that the league has more to build on than change its structure and layout. She says the bones and roots of the game were fascinating and the speed. The access was also a remarkable feature that should remain, according to the new owner.
The future of XFL
The pandemic remains a big issue as far as the XFL league is in the mix. Its 2021 season could be fanless in the same city as the NFL. Many believe that The Rock is what the XFL needs, a charismatic person who bears with him so much influence to pick off once more.
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